Public and Patient Involvement (PPI)

People have expert knowledge about their own health and illness. It is essential that this knowledge is respected and included in health research. This is recognised by international and national agencies such as the World Health Organisation, Health Research Board, Irish Research Council and the Health Service Executive. It also resonates with UL’s commitment to Community Engagement.

The PPI theme was launched in the HRI in 2016 and is a cross cutting theme with Lifestyle and Health, Health Services Delivery and Technology Enhanced Health Outcomes.  The theme is led by Professor Anne MacFarlane, Professor of Primary Healthcare Research at the School of Medicine. Professor MacFarlane established and leads the Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Research Unit in the School of Medicine, which has been designated a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Migrants’ Involvement in health research.

The objective of the PPI theme in the HRI is to develop capacity for meaningful PPI in health research.


Our annual PPI Summer School is held in June and brings together community organisations, patient groups, researchers, students, PPI contributors, health service providers and policy makers. The school not only offers a forum for discussion and reflection but also provides an important setting to network and build relationships. The plenary sessions and interactive workshops focus on a variety of topics including strategies to better engage with research partners and participants, how to improve data analysis, and methods to improve overall research performance.

This research group brings together arts-based and participatory scholars from medicine, nursing & midwifery, and the performing arts, as well as a leading NGO for migrants. Our vision is to develop increased understanding of the role of arts-based methods as participatory strategies for involving migrants in health research.

PPI Ignite Network @ UL

UL was awarded a PPI Ignite grant from the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council in 2017 to support researchers to involve public and patients in their research. In 2021, 7 Irish HEIs came together to form the PPI Ignite Network, led from NUI Galway and with UL as a Lead Site.

The work focuses on

  • Building national PPI capacity across communities
  • Embedding PPI scholarship into postgraduate and undergraduate education
  • Embedding PPI locally and nationally
  • Promoting PPI excellence
  • Building a strong national PPI network

The PPI Ignite Network @ UL has local partnerships with Care Alliance Ireland, the Health Sciences Academy, Health Research Charities Ireland, Shannon Family Resource Centre and the UNESCO Knowledge for Change project.

PPI Ignite Network @ UL draws on the tradition of participatory health research to promote meaningful involvement of the public and patients.

For more information, email: or see our shared drive here 

PPI Nov Clun 2022

PPI Club @UL Special Bursary Session 

November 30th 1-2pm - Online 

A great opportunity for some informal collaborative learning and discussion

See flyer below for full details

November 2022 PPI Club


December 16th - Deadline for PPI Ignite Network grant includes funding for short-term bursaries to support PPI on health research. 

See full details here - PPI Ignite Bursaries

PPI Ignite Network @ UL Core Team Members